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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Under the radar 
(en francais)

I almost missed this announcement. I've never even heard of Hino before. Looks like we'll be hearing a lot more in the coming years. A little research on the company site reveals that they're even field testing medium size diesel electric hybrid trucks.

As Big 3 cities like Windsor and Oshawa bleed automotive manufacturing jobs, others are growing.

When was the last time the Big 3 built a greenfield plant in Canada?
Hino to open small truck plant
Feb. 4, 2006. 09:08 AM

The truck subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. will start assembling vehicles at a small plant in Woodstock before summer, industry sources say.

Hino Motor Sales has quietly acquired a site including an existing building in the southwestern Ontario city and is making preparations for production of light- and medium-duty trucks, sources confirmed yesterday.

Hino officials would not comment on any investment.

"There will be no official announcement made at this time," said Axel Breuer, vice-president of Mississauga-based Hino Motor Sales.

But sources familiar with Hino's plans say the company will likely announce the plant and production within the next few weeks.

The plant will initially employ between 40 and 60 workers.

Hino indicated last fall it would expand its operation in Long Beach, Calif., or build elsewhere in the U.S. or Canada to meet North American demand.

Instead, the company is transforming an existing industrial building in the south end of Woodstock near Highway 401 into an assembly plant at a cost of less than $15 million.

Hino will build only a few vehicles a day when it starts production but output will increase significantly within six months, according to sources.

One source would not estimate output but acknowledged it would be less than 40 a day at peak production in the first year. Production in the first year will primarily supply the Canadian market with little or no exporting to the U.S.

Major parts suppliers in southern Ontario and Japan will feed the plant.

Although the investment is not large, Gerald Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, said Japanese-based vehicle producers traditionally open small operations and gradually expand them over several years.

"They start off small but they always have a long-term view of life," said Fedchun.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada opened a small car assembly plant in nearby Cambridge in 1989 but has expanded significantly during the last 15 years.

It now produces the Corolla compact, Matrix cross-over model and the Lexus RX330 luxury sport utility vehicle.

Output at the Cambridge complex reached 305,966 vehicles last year.

Toyota is also building a second assembly operation in Oxford County near Woodstock at a cost of more than $1 billion.

I wonder why they keep ignoring Windsor?

Paul Synnott at 5:29 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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